Jury Tampering Overshadows Nettie Peters’ Murder Trial

first_imgAllegations of attempted jury tampering on Thursday, May 22, compelled Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘A’ to temporary halt proceedings in Antoinette Nettie Peters’ murder trial.Prosecutors claimed that they saw jurors Nathan Chea and Rachael Kun Suah at different locations communicating with defendant Jefferson Dahn’s family members, praying the Court to conduct an immediate investigation.Jefferson Dahn is the man who allegedly stabbed Antoinette Nettie Peters on January 3, 2013.However, Jurors Chea and Suah denied the allegation when they were probed by the Court.Interestingly, after the Court’s investigation, Judge Blamo publicly announced, “Since the investigation does not need to ask for call log from any of the GSM companies, the findings are hereby reserved to be delivered anytime during the trial.”He also warned the panel by saying, “You have to follow the case. Ask your questions, and don’t be intimidated. Behave as though nothing had happened. Don’t be afraid.”  Although the Court did not make its findings public, Judge Dixon chose to allow Chea and Suah to stay on the jury team in order to help the Court to decide the case.The trial continued Thursday, May 22, with Nettie’s brother, Smith Peters, taking the witness stand.Prosecution further alleged that on Wednesday, the day after the court adjourned proceedings, juror Nathan Chea spoke with a man named Gabriel, whom they claimed is a family member of defendant Dahn.They said the interaction took place in the Capitol By-pass Community, which is a few meters from the Temple of Justice, where the case is being tried.Prosecutor also alleged that Juror Rachael Kun Suah was booked having conversation with one of defendant Dahn’s family members.They further alleged that the conversation happened in another courtroom of Criminal Court ‘B.’Dahn is on trial for allegedly stabbing to death Nettie in the victim’s boyfriend, Bonfrer Adidee’s bedroom on January 3, 2013, 12th Street, Sinkor.He denies the claim, alleging he was promised US$600, a laptop and two phones by Adidee, whom he claimed murdered the victim.Adidee is a Ugandan national and an employee of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).UNMIL Clarifies Employee’s StatusMeanwhile, authorities of UNMIL Thursday, May 22, in a communication to the Daily Observer, clarified that Adidee, the victim’s boyfriend, has not left Liberia, leaving the entire case behind as had been reported in some quarters.The communication further clarified, “he continues to work with the Mission and is physically present in the country.”In addition, they said, at the time of the Daily Observer’s Wednesday, May [20] story titled ‘UNMIL Officer Fiancée’s Murder Case Begins,’ “the staff member was not summoned to appear before the Liberian court trying the alleged murder case.”They further stated in their communication, that they “collaborated with the Liberia National Police during the investigation stage of the case and stand ready to continue cooperating with authority\ies in the proceedings related to the tragic incident.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ID-4-PAPD: Greasing Our Development Wheels: Why Accurate Identification Matters So Much Today

first_imgWhy Accurate Identification Matters So Much TodayBy J. Tiah Nagbe, MSF, ChFC After months of planning and waiting, it is finally here: our special column on Liberia’s identification system. I do hope you enjoy this ride and I promise to be the best driver that I can be. I also expect others to jump in sometime and help me; and, if that happens, we should travel far and long – for about six months. For the first mile of the journey – our first article, we will look at the reason why accurate identification is so important to our lives today. If we do this very well, it will help you to understand the rest of the trip. Fasten your seat belts and welcome on board!Having plenty people has good and bad sidesThose of us who believe in God start the story of the human race with one man – Adam. Those who believe in the theory of evolution will also have to start theirs with one person at some point in time.  But from this one person we now have about 7.7 billion people that move around this one earth today. I don’t know how to explain 7.7 billion in simple terms. Even if I say that it is 1,500 times the population of Liberia, it will still not be simple for many people. So, just know that human beings are very, very, very, very plenty in the world today.  I can imagine that when Adam and his family lived on this earth, their life was simple in many ways, including finding people who broke the law. For example, when Adam found out that someone had eaten the forbidden fruit, it had to be quite easy to determine that it was Eve, since only two of them lived on the earth at the time. Similarly, when Abel was murdered by his brother Caine, it had to be simple finding out the murderer. So, in a way, we can say that having a small population was a good thing. However, we may never have reached the level of human development that we see today, had we remained as small as Adam’s family. Think about it, could that first family have invented the airplane? Did they even have the need for it? Which airport would they have flown it to and who would have built that airport? Also, could they have invented the cell phone? Would there have been a need for a phone in the first place, to call whom? Therefore, we can see that a huge population has come with many great things as well.But a large population is a two-sided coin, with both good and bad sides. The good side includes the fantastic human development. However, the bad side includes difficulties in fighting crimes, providing services to people, and more. One such challenge that a large population has brought about is how to accurately identify people. This problem is made more difficult by the fact that we demand speedy solutions and transact business in places that are far from where we live.  Among many areas in which this comes to play are banking, insurance and telecommunication services in the private sector; and salary payments, election, education, health care, electricity and water services for the public sector. Allow me to demonstrate this very important need for accurate identification with one example, using the banking sector. NID helps Sia to withdraw money from the bankA nice lady, called Sia Tamba, operated a large farm in Foya, Lofa County (149 miles/240 kilometers from Monrovia) for several years and then decided to move to Monrovia when her children grew older and started college. While in Foya, she saved a good amount of money with the local branch of a bank call Liberia Bank. The bank had only two tellers at that branch and they both knew Sia because Foya is a small community. Whenever she went to deposit or withdraw money at the local branch, the tellers simply carried out the transaction without asking her for an identification, because they were very sure she was Sia. In fact, they knew her entire family and had visited her house several times for special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays. When Sia moved to Monrovia, she joined a population of 1.5 million people. To start a business in Monrovia, she visited the branch of the Liberia Bank to withdraw LRD 300,000. At the bank she faced a problem: unlike the Foya tellers, the Monrovia tellers did not know her. Therefore, when she presented the withdrawal slip for LRD300,000 the teller refused to pay without proper identification. First, she took out an ID from her Susu (savings) club in Foya, but that did not work. Then she asked the teller to call their branch in Foya about her. The teller said he did not have much time to make a call because there were others waiting in the line, and even a call would not convince him because the Foya teller was not present to confirm that the lady standing in front of him is the same Sia who has the money in the bank. So she did not get the money on that day.The next day she went to the National Identification Registry office and applied for a biometric national ID card. After receiving the card three days later, she went back to the bank and re-submitted her withdrawal slip. The bank teller took her national ID card and entered the ID number into his computer. Within a few seconds, the big NIR computer sent Sia’s information to the bank and the teller’s computer screen showed the picture and other important information about Sia. This convinced the teller that the person standing before him was indeed Sia Tamba. The teller made the payment and went home knowing that he would not get in trouble; and Sia got her money to start her new business in Monrovia. Yes, unique ID mattersI do hope that this story helps you to see the challenges that come with very large populations and the solutions that unique identification brings to the table in solving some of these challenges. As you can see in Sia’s case, three situations made it difficult to serve her. The first was the fact that by moving to Monrovia she became part of a very large population within which many people do not know each other, like in Foya. The second situation is that she had traveled far from her original community; therefore, it was difficult to verify her story by asking tellers in Foya. This is a problem that happens every day as people travel outside of their communities, cities, counties or even countries. The third situation is that today we demand speedy services. When she was carrying out the transaction, there had to be others standing behind her demanding to be served quickly. Therefore, the teller did not have the time to call the Foya branch and ask his co-workers to tell him more about Sia, to see if he could verify some information that would convince him that this lady was the owner of the account. It was a biometric ID that provided high degree of certainty that out of the 5 million people that live in Liberia, this lady was the one and only Sia Tamba, the person who had deposited her money with the Liberia Bank in Foya.  Next week, we will look at how unique identification is created for each person and how it helps to solve problems for different institutions and sectors of our society.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

First airline in the world to operate a single use plastic free

first_imgFirst airline in the world to operate a single use plastic free flightFirst airline in the world to operate a single-use plastic free flight on an ultra-long haul sectorEtihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will be the first airline in the region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board, in a bid to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution. Flight EY484 will depart Abu Dhabi on 21 April, landing in Brisbane on 22 April – Earth Day.H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport said: “Sustainable and efficient transport is core to the government’s vision, and we commend Etihad’s proactivity in paving the way for sustainability and efficiency in air transportation. The investment in sustainable alternative fuels and the focus on emerging environmental concerns such as plastic pollution reaffirms Etihad’s commitment to the Abu Dhabi transport vision.”The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s ongoing commitment to the environment, to go beyond Earth Day celebrations, and pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 per cent not just in-flight, but across the entire organisation by the end of 2022.H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman Etihad Aviation Group, said: “This step is an extension of Etihad’s pioneering environmental efforts. Inaugurating 2019 with the locally sourced biofuel flight and the operation of the longest single-use plastic free flight are testament to our commitment to leading effective change towards sustainability.”Last year, the United Nations called for global action to beat plastic pollution, stating that 400 million tonnes of plastics are produced every year, 63 per cent of which are intended for single-use. Governments around the world are starting to ban single-use plastics – something the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) advocates.Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “There is a growing concern globally about the overuse of plastics which can take thousands of years to decompose. We discovered we could remove 27 million single-use plastic lids from our inflight service a year and, as a leading airline, it’s our responsibility to act on this, to challenge industry standards and work with suppliers who provide lower impact alternatives.”Buzz, Etihad’s current supplier of amenity products, are supporters of the project and have collaborated with the airline to provide sustainable amenity kits, eco-plush toys and award-winning eco-thread blankets. Buzz pioneered and produced the blankets out of recycled plastic bottles.In some instances, the sustainable choice was easy. Etihad worked with suppliers to ensure products were not wrapped in single-use plastics. For others, more innovative products had to be sourced including Cupffee’s, edible coffee cups, made entirely out of natural grain products.Etihad identified over 95 single-use plastic products used across aircraft cabins, most of which were replaced with eco-friendly alternatives including cups, cutlery, dishes, headset bags, cart seals and toothbrushes. Once removed from this flight, Etihad prevented over 50 kilograms of plastics from being landfilled. Where suitable replacements could not be sourced, these items were not loaded.As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad additionally committed to remove up to 20 per cent of the single-use plastic items on board by 1 June 2019. By the end of this year, Etihad will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service.“We are making this promise not only for the environment but also for the wider community. Our guests and employees are largely responsible for facilitating this positive change, as they brought to our attention the effect plastics within our industry have on landfills, waterways and our oceans, contaminating our soil and water,” added Mr Douglas.Employees of Etihad’s Ramp Management team, based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, launched an initiative to reduce 1.6 million plastic bottles in a year. During the summer months, over 13,000 bottles are distributed daily. As of last month, 19-litre water dispensers were distributed across all break-room facilities, not only reducing single-use plastics but also saving the airline AED 800,000 yearly.As part of Etihad’s commitment to sustainability, the airline will also work with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi on their marine environment clean-up, amongst other initiatives, to ensure environmental sustainability. Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img read more